So I caught a glimpse of this game a few weeks ago and though it looked interesting. Being 28, I sort of just missed the original run of dungeon crawlers as I was a bit too young to understand what was happening (or too impatient to really dig in). I've always been a fan of these types of games in theory so I figured this was a great way to get started.
As an aside, I did give The Dark Tower on DS a shot and while I could definitely see the appeal, that one was just a bit too minimalistic (not to mention obscenely difficult) for me to push past the third or fourth floor.
Fast forward to about 3 hours ago and I take the plunge into the Legend of Grimrock.
I started out with a Human fighter specced for damage, Minitaur Fighter specced to tank, a lizard rogue and a bug wizard. My first mistake was not putting enough points into one of the spell categories so for most of the first floor, I had a nearly useless mage in my party. Don't do that.
My party is tossed into the top of the mountain and away I go. The first thing I noticed was just how good the graphics are. I honestly just sat in one spot looking at the four walls around me for a few minutes. I think one of the issues with the older dungeon crawlers is that almost every plain wall looked exactly the same. Now I don't know if the textures change at all the deeper you descend, but if they didn't, it would be ok.
The first few halls and rooms are filled with small puzzles and signs that do a somewhat decent job of explaining the rules. There are pressure plates that can be activated with rocks, levers, switches, keys and secret walls activated by loose stones on walls. Sound plays a big part with all of this as well. So far, most of the doors and gates have been pretty close, but we'll see if that persists. Nothing was worse in Doom than hitting a switch and having to walk the whole level a million times to figure out just which wall opened up.
Next comes the combat. Initially it seems like you just stand there and right click the weapons in each characters hand to attack (or the rune system for spells). Theres a bit more to it as the combat system is actually more like Chrono Trigger with an active battle system. Each character has a speed rating that modifies the time between attacks. This goes for the enemies as well as your party so If a giant snail winds up to attack and you move, he'll whiff. You can kind of game the system in open rooms with this and take little to no damage.
The puzzles so far have been pretty clever. I got stuck once because I didn't realize I could reach through the bars to grab some stuff, but the other few that I encountered were pretty good. I don't want to spoil any more so I won't go in to the details but the best advice I can give is to pay close attention to the hints they give, and look out for hidden switches/torches etc...
All in all, I've had a pretty good time so far. There have been some moments of sheer terror as I get locked in a room with several enemies, and moment of total joy as I realize the (admittedly easy) solution to a puzzle that had me stumped for a few minutes. If thing continue as they have, Legend of Grimlock could turn out to be a surprise hit.
ADDENDUM: Just past floor three and...SHIT JUST GOT REAL. The battles are getting really tough. Those effing spiders are coming out of nowhere and I just met up with some slimes that can attack you though grates. Awesome. I think I need to go back through a few floors and try to find some new weapons. My human fighter is rocking a decent sword, but the minotaur fighters hand axe just ain't cutting it. More to come.